If you know me then you know storytelling is a huge part of my life, but not ever story is butterflies and roses...
Almost four years ago when I ventured into the world of photography, my grandfather, Ed Dinsmore, asked me if I ever saw his work. At the time I was 18 and had little knowledge of his photography background. He went to his hall closet and began to carry out box after box of catalogued photographs, film slides, and film rolls that he never had developed.
He told me about his middle years as an owner of Reno Brothers (a mechanical contracting company here in Western, Pennsylvania) when he and his company partner would win traveling vacations after buying equipment from the Carrier corporation. My grandmother and him, along with a handful of other couples, would travel each year to countries all over the world. During this time he became extremely interested in film photography, both to document the trips and perfect his skills. It was about that time when he bought this (pictured) Nikon FG Film SLR camera. Little by little much like my digital photography start, he bought new lenses, lens filters, and read as much as he could on the subject.
—This was one of my favorite qualities about my Pap, whatever he was curious about, he then researched until he became an expert on the subject matter. I do believe there was never a topic or questions he left un-investigated. It gives me those perfect-shivering-chills to think about, what a man he was.
The day continued as we sat at his long, long dining room table covered in film slides and studied the developed photos of their travels. He read me excerpts from Ansel Adams books and showed me his practice in reflection photography across the most beautiful landscapes. And always extremely humble about his talents, he explained to me that is was merely a fun hobby to learn.
This camera traveled on many trips from busy Paris, France to the calm and serene Kipawa, Quebec. Because he was always the photographer, his amazing wife, my grandmother, carried the heavy equipped through each of these countries. When my grandmother was in her 40's, she was diagnosed with a rapidly worsening autoimmune disorder called Rheumatoid Arthritis. Thus, the trips became much more difficult for Gram to carry the camera equipment and for the two of them to continue on the company trips. However, they both thought of these special trips as having been taken in perfect timing, while Gram was still in such perfect health.
After we finished our discussion my Pap asked me if I was learning on a digital or film camera, and when I told him I only had a digital camera he promptly insisted that I take his film equipment home and practice when I got the chance. He also gave me his favorite Ansel Adams book and I left that day more excited then Christmas morning, carrying his heavy green camera bag, marked with his famous signage in large bold letters, E.G.D.
Just this past summer, after several years had passed, I decided to pull out Pap’s camera and snap a few iPhone photos of it, so I could show my pap as a refresher and ask him what film to buy, and how to operate the basic settings of the camera the next time we talked. As confusing and utterly devastating as death can be, my grandfather unexpectedly passed away the next morning, June 16th, 2017.
Today marks 8 months from the day my Pap took his voyage home, and it is becoming clear to me this will always be an extremely difficult and confusing pill for me to swallow. However, I am forever thankful for my 21 years with him and my business will always stand as a continuation of his knowledge and passion for photography. His legacy. Dinsmore Photographs.